The son of Center Point residents Dan and Lisa Brand, Ryan is an intriguing young man with an eye for the obvious and a good sense of humor.
Asked how he felt when he was told he'd won, Ryan said, "I was shocked because I didn't know I'd even entered the contest."
He explained that his teacher, Mrs. Weliever, assigned the whole class to write a paper about the subject "If I were Mayor, I would...". Then she told them the due date.
Ryan knew of the contest but didn't think he'd have a chance so he didn't enter his paper. A good student, however, whose favorite subject is advanced math, Ryan made sure he completed the assignment in a timely manner and turned it in.
Unbeknownst to him, Weliever got permission from Ryan's mother and entered the essay for him.
"Later she told me it was too good not to enter," Ryan said. "I'm glad she did. I enjoyed the experience.
"I learned what the Mayor does and got to watch what he does. I learned it's not easy being Mayor. And I learned a few things that I've never got to experience in the city.
With Mayor Arthur, Ryan went to the waste water treatment plant and three cemeteries, Rest Lawn, Old Hill and Cottage Hill. They toured the Fire Department and went to lunch with the Police Department at Pizza Hut.
"I liked most of it," Ryan concluded, "but riding around and some parts of it was boring."
"It wasn't a real exciting day," Mayor Arthur said. "Kind of a normal day. There wasn't a lot of action. It's been interesting for me. It was kind of fun having someone shadow me and see what I do every day."
When asked if he thought he'd like to be a mayor when he grows up, Ryan quickly answered, "No. I think it'd be too hard."
But he almost sounded like he was training for some political job when he told what he liked most about the day.
"I made a new friend, Tom Arthur," he said with a big grin.
Arthur laughed and said, "Everywhere we went the employees asked Ryan for a raise."
"Mayor" Brand's response?
"I'll think about it."